Hodeg inks two-year extension with Deceuninck-QuickStep
Colombian sprinter to race with Belgian WorldTour team through 2021
Alvaro Hodeg has signed a contract extension with Deceuninck-QuickStep for an additional two years, taking him through the end of 2021, the team announced Saturday.
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"I am very happy to have extended my contract with Deceuninck – Quick-Step," Hodeg said. "I am proud to be part of this team which gave me the opportunity to turn pro and who put their trust in me. It's a dream to stay here and continue my development and I hope to be able to repay the confidence of the team with victories and help them remain one of the best in the world. Deceuninck – Quick-Step is the perfect team for a rider like me, because sprinting is in their DNA and they know how to help me become better."
Hodeg signed with the team, then called QuickStep-Floors, as a trainee partway through 2017. Last year, he won Handzame Classic along with stages at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, Tour of Poland, Deutschland Tour and Tour of Turkey.
He is currently competing with the Deceuninck – Quick-Step at the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina where he placed fifth in stage 1 and third in stage 4. His former teammate Fernando Gaviria, who moved to the UAE Team Emirates this year, won both stage sprints for the victories.
Hodeg took an unfortunate crash during stage 5 near the start of the race but got back on his bike and finished on the climb to Alto Colorado. Despite his injuries, which appeared to be his left shoulder and hip, he is a contender for the expected bunch sprint on stage 6 at the Autódromo El Villicúm and Sunday's final stage around San Juan.
News of the contract extension comes after a week of controversies that have shrouded Deceuninck-QuickStep while the team has been racing in Argentina.
Race organisers expelled Iijo Keisse from the Vuelta a San Juan after a woman who worked at a local cafe filed a police complaint against him alleging sexual assault. Keisse was ordered to pay a fine and he apologised for his actions. The situation escalated when team boss Patrick Lefevere went on to accuse the woman of only wanting money and threatened to pull his team from the race.
Team sponsor Specialized stepped in with a statement calling the team to take "full responsibility for their actions", while Deceuninck has stated that it will review the case and meet with team management after the Vuelta a San Juan.
Deceuninck-QuickStep has since released a statement apologising for the incident saying that their riders and staff will undergo conduct training protocol that will consist of group activities for our riders and staff, that will be run by specialists in meetings during the coming European races.
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